Kabocha Risotto with Chard & Spiced Pepitas

4th February 2015

I’m excited to join Ordinary Vegan to share my recipe for Kabocha Risotto with Sautéed Chard & Spiced Pepitas.

Vegan Kabocha Risotto

This creamy, wintery Kabocha Risotto is indulgently satisfying, with a rich variety of flavors and textures that are sure to please. It’s earthy and sweet from the pureed kabocha squash, slightly tangy from the sherry vinegar splashed sautéed chard and perfectly finished with spiced roasted pepitas for added texture and and just a bit of spice.

Vegan Kabocha Risotto

Kabocha Risotto with Sautéed Chard & Spiced Pepitas

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetable stock, homemade or low-sodium*
  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine or olive oil (unsalted)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced, about 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1½ cups dry white wine*
  • 1 cup kabocha squash puree, packed*
  • ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon salt, add more if desired
  • ¼ cup frozen peas, thawed

For the Tangy Chards:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, rinsed and thinly sliced (about ½ pound)
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, to taste

For the Spiced Roasted Pepitas:

  • ¼ cup raw pepitas seeds
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt, add more to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika

Method

Make Spiced Roasted Pepitas:

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the pepitas and olive oil. Toss with dry ingredients well to coat. Arrange pepitas in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally for about 8 to 10 minutes, until golden. Season to taste with salt, and add more cayenne pepper if desired. Let cool, then transfer to a serving dish.

Make Tangy Chards:

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chards, a handful at a time and sherry vinegar. Cook until it begins to wilt and tender, about 10 minutes.Transfer to a serving dish.

Make Risotto:

Put the stock and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to very low heat and hold at a simmer. Heat the olive oil or margarine in a wide, heavy skillet or a wide, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook garlic until just fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is completely coated, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until most of the wine has been absorbed by the rice, about 5 minutes.

Add stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring, adding more as each portion is absorbed, for about 15 minutes until rice is al dente yet creamy. Stir in kabocha puree and the peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste now and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve risotto in bowls with chards and roasted pepitas.

Notes

Advance Preparation: The dish is best served right away. Roasted pepitas can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Homemade vegetable broth: This is my favorite leek-based broth recipe. To make a homemade vegetable broth, heat oil in a Dutch oven or a large pot over medium high heat. Add 2 leeks (green and white), cook, stirring occasionally, until tender about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 carrot, 1 celery, 2 bay leaves, 2 fresh thyme sprigs, 1 cup cilantro or parsley (with stems), 1 cup mushroom stalks (optional), 5 cups water, dash of tamari and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (optional). Bring to a boil and let simmer for an hour. Drain well in a colander or sieve and press with the back of a wooden spoon to release broth.

Kabocha squash puree: I’ve included a post detailing how to prepare kabocha squash. 1 cup kabocha puree is about 1 pound kabocha squash (unpeeled). Boil or steam cubed squash (peeled, about 1/2” cubed) for 10 minutes until tender, let cool and mash them into a puree (add a bit of water if it’s too dry).

For the white wine, try the reasonably priced vegan-friendly white wines such as Trader Joe’s.

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